In 1996, Robert Anton Wilson, David Cross, Mama Michelle Phillips and then-SPIN magazine publisher Bob Guccione Jr. appeared on what was intended to be a sort of Timothy Leary-themed discussion on Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, and supposed to include Leary himself. As he was so near death at the time, Bob Wilson stepped in to take his place (and did a wonderful job). Everyone on the panel, including Maher, were personal friends with Leary, and offered charming anecdotes about their fading friend.
Unsurprisingly, much of the discussion was about drugs, in particular LSD, which Cross, RAW, Phillps and Maher are all rather strongly in favor of. Guccione Jr., on the other hand, sees drugs in a negative light, and says some stupid stuff about acid until it is pointed out to him that his opinion on LSD is about as worthwhile as the Pope opining on sex.
What is surprising is how timeless this show is. Aside from some Bill Clinton and Bob Dole references in the opening monologue—and Bill Maher’s lapels—it holds up surprisingly well. There’s a particularly good point made by David Cross who explains how it was possible for them to sit there on a TV show and say “We love acid, acid’s great!” without any fear of arrest or reprisal, largely because of Timothy Leary’s fearless advocacy of the psychedelic experience during the 1960s.
Bonus clip, Bill Maher rants about LSD and psilocybin in 2011:
Last night on his HBO program, Real Time, Bill Maher compared OWS’s real world political gains to the Tea party’s decidedly more concrete electoral accomplishments and reveals a stark truth for the movement…
Bill Maher slapped down the GOP last night, for calling the Occupy Wall Street protesters “hippies”. Maher made his comments at the end of the “New Rules” section of his Real Time show:
And finally, New Rule: Republicans have to stop calling the Wall Street protesters “hippies”. Yes, they’re peeing outdoors, and having sex in sleeping bags, or as Bristol Palin calls it, “dating”. But they’re not hippies!
The hippies are all gone. Woodstock was 42 years ago. Forget the brown acid, the people who were at Woodstock are now taking the blue Viagra. “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, refers to their hearing aids. Wavy Gravy is 75 years old. He’s making wavy gravy in his pants.
Maher continued by saying how he had visited the OWS in Washington DC, last Saturday and had found:
Everyone was extraordinarily well-behaved, and contrary to reports, I was not offered a single marijuana cigarette. And I’m a little insulted. All right, someone did give me a magic mushroom, and it did blow my mind, and I thank you, Senator McConnell. And sorry about your eyebrows, I’m sure they’ll grow back.
Anyway, the next morning, when I woke up bloody and naked in the woods, I had a relevation… I mean, a revelation. Of course conservatives want to make this about hippies, because they like to live in the past! Rush Limbaugh, who really is too square to be a drug addict, said, “When the free drugs run out, when the free sex runs out, they’ll get bored and move on to something else.”
Oh that’s right, Grandpa. Look at them, strumming their sitars and wearing dungarees. Whatever happened to the good old days of segregation and date rape? But I get it. You’re bitter because we fought a culture war in the ‘60s and the Right lost. Rick Santorum is like that Japanese soldier on the island who doesn’t know the war is over, so he’s still fighting against birth control and butt sex.
Plus, Republicans are now mostly a Southern party, and if there’s one thing Southerners don’t do well, it’s lose a war and get over it. The ideals of the youth movement became assimilated into American society. That’s why we have gays in the military now, and pre-natal yoga classes, and tofurkey. And that’s why Rick Santorum will never be President, and a black guy who snorted cocaine is.
Maher went on to explain how the people who are occupying locations across the US are not the counter-culture:
These people down there, they’re not the counter-culture. They’re the culture. They don’t want free love. They want paid employment. They don’t hate capitalism. They hate what’s been done to it.
And they resent the Republican mantra that the market perfectly rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy, and the poor are just jealous moochers who want a handout. Yeah, because if there’s one group of people who hate handouts, it’s Wall Street.
Maher’s comments are apt as a breakdown of people taking part in OWS shows that while two-thirds identified themselves as under the age of 35, 13% are aged between 35-45, and 20% are over the age of 45.
50% of protesters were in full employment, 20% were part-time workers, and the remaining 30%, just under half 13.1% said they were unemployed.
This is hardly the hippies the GOP is helping the media to portray.
Listen as Bill Maher says the truest shit you’ve ever heard about Obama…
“There is a good 40% of this country who wouldn’t vote for you if you personally saved them from drowning. So get rid of that baggage of caring about the people who will not vote for you anyway and be a strong liberal Democratic president. You owe it to us.”
The whole thing is worth watching, but he starts to really get cooking at about 3:20 in.
Richard Tillman appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher on September 24, 2010. During the interview he discusses the military cover-up and murder conspiracy theories revolving around his brother Pat’s death. He also had some choice words about religion.
Richard’s take on religion is particularly passionate. In a video clip aired on the show, his response to comments made at his brother’s funeral by Maria Shriver and John McCain, in which they envision Pat having gone to a heaven overseen by a loving god, is particularly powerful.
Pat’s a fucking champion and he always will be. Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this. He’s not with God. He’s fucking dead. He’s not religious so, thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.”
In his interview with Maher, Richard elaborated:
I don’t go into your church and say this is bullshit, so don’t come to my brother’s service and tell me that he’s with god.”
Excellent clip of Christopher Hitchens on Real Time with Bill Maher taking a welding torch to the Catholic Church’s current policy on dealing with molester priests.
The Catholic Church is in serious trouble and may have nowhere to run, depending on who you ask.
“I warned them about all of this,” declared author Christopher Hitchens, appearing on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. “Nothing good can come of a church that has as its’ slogan, ‘Leave no child’s behind.’ And then they went and chose as pope the man who was personally responsible, in his dioceses, and institutionally responsible for the cover-up. So now, there’s no escape.”
The child rape scandals that have savaged Catholic ranks for years starting in the United States, then flaring up in Ireland, Germany, Italy and other locations around the world, have finally come to implicate Pope Benedict XVI, according to recent reports.
At time of this writing, the most recent scandal flare-up involved a school for the deaf in Wisconsin, where up to 200 boys were molested by a man whom Hitchens said “was allowed to walk free and was buried with full honors as a priest.”